Yes, life happens in Mexico just as it does in L.A., San Francisco, New York City, Washington D.C. Detroit, New Haven, Baltimore, Miami and so on. Hold onto your purse, don’t go down dark alleyways or get totally drunk in the middle of the night. Take a cab and use a condom or just say, “No.” I promise you it’ll all work out fine. The world is only as evil as we create it to be. Until murders in Mexico reach the same numbers in the U.S. I’m over the media reports and having a cocktail by the ocean with my toes in the sand.
The best moment hearing about Mexico was when my mom started to tell me how dangerous Mexico was after I, not she, spent a year there experiencing no more crime than the neighbor coming onto my lawn unsolicited to offer me a 5-gallon bottle of filtered water as a romantic gesture. As she went on about the dangers of Mexico the news came on TV. The news then reported the murder of a police officer who was shot in the head at the corner of my mother’s Harlem, NYC street.
I looked out the window and sure enough, I saw crime tape posted over the path that I took to get to my mother’s apartment, which renders nearly $4,000 a month in rent and utilities. Not in all of 4 years and 14 countries have I ever witnessed crime like this. I’m not saying that horrific crime doesn’t happen in Mexico but I am saying that I’ll take 5 murders in Mexico over 50 back home. I’ll take drug cartel in the areas where I don’t hang out over consistent drug deals and usage conducted in my daily pathways to work back at home.
The problem with these media reports is that it instills useless fear of traveling and living abroad instead of offering useful knowledge in which to travel safely, keeping folks hemmed up in their homes or blowing wads of cash on “safety precautions” while traveling.
The U.S. crime rate closed at around 23% in 2015 (always on the rise)
Mexico closed out its crime rate at 17% in 2016
Guys, shit happens everywhere every day. Get a grip, use your instincts as a compass for your journey and wear your Big Girl panties when traveling.
And please, don’t take my word for it. Listen to my interview with Les and Marilyn Widd about what it’s like to live in the lower Baja section of Mexico.
Article originally posted on Medium.com, August 25, 2017.